ADRs, or Disney advance dining reservations, are one of the many steps to a successful and fun trip to Walt Disney World. Without them, you’re stuck wandering around and stressing out over where you could actually eat. This is incredibly important during busier times, like every month from January through until December 🙂
Most restaurants can be booked within weeks or even days of your vacation, but there are a few that require significant planning. The reservations before are ones that you should definitely put on your list to get at 7am 180 days to your vacation to get your perfect schedule!
Thinking about where to start? Then this list is for you!
The Steps To Magic Difference
I’m a huge fan of planning, but there are really good reasons why each of these restaurants could be a perfect experience OR could be a location to skip. Dining is a subjective topic due to a ton of variables that range from time of reservation to dietary preferences/restrictions to everything in between.
My recommendation for any of the Top 10 ADR’s to get ASAP is to know your budget, keep track of the calendar and be ready to make a decision prior to 180 days out.
Remember that it’s your opportunity to create some magic, because as our friends at The Disney Food Blog say…Food is a Theme Park:)
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When you visit Walt Disney World, the monorail brings you through the Contemporary resort en route to the Magic Kingdom. After the amazement of taking a train on the ‘Highway in the Sky’ through a building, your thoughts go to being able to eat in a restaurant that has a Disney icon being seen every few minutes…and how?
Our recommendation is quite simple. When you’re planning to be at the Magic Kingdom for Wishes or experiencing the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at night…book your ADR. It’s a 10-minute walk from the turnstiles to the Contemporary!
The World Showcase has incredible food, but there are a few that stand out due to their lack of reservation availability. Via Napoli is definitely right up there!
Do us a favour and grab your reservation early because you don’t want to be stuck without options and having to settle for something you really won’t enjoy.
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SCI-FI DINE IN
As I write this, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is undergoing a transformation. The long-term outlook of the park is still up in the air and years away from fully realizing the concept on paper. BUT…they’ve got some amazing attractions and you’re going to want to spend time walking on Sunset Blvd towards the Tower of Terror or Fantasmic.
Disney Hollywood Studio offers a limited amount of sit down dining options. However, why not dine in the back of a car while watching old school movies on the big screen?
Advice: Check the menu first. This is can be a hit-or-miss… and we have another option further down the list that could also work well.
This was BY FAR one of the best buffet meals that we’ve had at Walt Disney World. Granted, we were there at 11:05am during the changeover and had a plate of breakfast and then a plate of lunch. Outside of that bonus, both my partner and I had a great meal that focused on more than typical “theme park food” that you’ll see at most buffets.
The sheer size of this restaurant will shock and amaze you, but this will give you a great opportunity to enjoy your meal in a quite area. Compared to Be Our Guest, where you’re in three huge themed rooms, Tusker House has multiple side rooms. OH, and I haven’t even mentioned that this is a character experience too!!
AKERSHUS ROYAL BANQUET HALL
Do you like Disney Princesses? Do you have young kids? This is a 100% win if you fall into those two (and only those two) categories.
My partner and I were underwhelmed by the food options and with this dining room. Akershus is very small for the character interactions, we were glad that we did it once.
PS* If you can get our Number One pick…do it!
‘Ohana means family, and this is by far one of the hardest ADRs to get!
Check out the menu, read reviews, ask friends. It’s so much easier to cancel a reservation than it is to wait until 3-4 months before your trip to get your ADR because you just won’t have the opportunity!
50’S PRIME TIME CAFE
Remember how I brought up the construction and redevelopment of Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Well, this is a great option for when you’re doing a full day of Fastpass+ reservations (Star Tours, Toy Story Mania, Rock N Rollercoaster, etc).
It provides a good lunch that will really keep you energized. Not only is the food high quality, but the experience is highly themed and will make you want to go back time after time.
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VICTORIA & ALBERTS
There are three dining options to Victoria & Alberts, and we’ll suggest that if you can get a reservation to ANY of the rooms…do it!
18 tables in the main dining room, 8 seats in Queen Victoria’s Room and the 10-seat Chef’s Table. Now you understand why this is an incredibly hot-ticket ADR to try to get. Starting at $185 before you even walk through the door, this is classified as a “splurge” item while at the Walt Disney World resort. Put this on your Disney bucket list ASAP because you’ll see the best that Disney has to offer in this experience.
So far, we’ve had the opportunity to dine in both the Queen Victoria Room and the Main Dining Room, and both are incredible experiences that I just love to talk about! If you can swing a reservation and be able to allocate the budget for this, you’ll never forget it:)
Related Article: Our Queen Victoria Room @ Victoria & Albert’s Review
BE OUR GUEST
Let’s take a step away from exclusivity at Victoria & Alberts and provide you with the most sought after and highly regarded ADR on the property. I won’t oversell this, except to say that the lunch and dinner services are both memorable for different reasons. Remember that even though lunch is a Quick Service meal, you still need a reservation for it.
If you’re going down for a 7-night trip, then plan to do the lunch on day 2 and the dinner on day 5 or 6. Then you can spread out your time at the Beast’s Castle, and you won’t get overwhelmed with the restaurant.
**Tip** No one will fault you for getting multiple reservations and then canceling them closer to your trip. Think about your Fastpass+ schedule, other dining reservations and nighttime experiences before you cancel any of the ADRs. We made a mistake during one trip when we canceled a Be Our Guest lunch reservation. We found out that the only daytime parade we could fit in needed to be moved to accommodate for a Keys to the Kingdom Tour.
Use the system and as soon as things are locked in, then make your decisions. Not saying that we weren’t happy with Cosmic Rays, but it’s no Be Our Guest! 🙂
Related Article – Ranking Magic Kingdom Dining
CINDERELLA’S ROYAL TABLE
This experience changed the way that I looked at the Walt Disney World resort. I would 100% recommend this experience for any die-hard Disney fan because nothing’s better than eating in Cinderella’s Castle!
My TripAdvisor review was pretty eye-opening, but I feel the need to share it here:
First off – The reservation was incredibly difficult to get, but persistence paid off greatly.We arrived 15 minutes before our reservation, but was instructed to come back exactly at 515pm. Cinderella was awaiting us in the foyer for a private meet and greet prior to ascending the staircase.
We were seated in the middle of the main room, which btw…only holds a small number of tables (around 50), so it was a very private experience vs other dining in the Magic Kingdom.
Full disclosure: we do not have kids and were not the only ones in the restaurant without them. Lots of couples on anniversaries and there were a couple of mid-20’s girls who were Disney-Bounding as princesses for their meal.
The menu is a prix fix menu with 5 options for appetizers, 6 options for entrees and 4 desert choices. My selections were the Castle Salad, Beef Tenderloin and the Clock Strikes Twelve. My partner’s selection was the Royal Tasting of Cheese, the Gnochi with Vegetables and the clock strikes twelve.
Amazing Food! The wait staff was incredible and friendly to a whole other level. They had fun, so it was a pleasant atmosphere.
We actually couldn’t eat everything…so we took the desert to go, which they had a great presentation bag with cutlery and napkins for our enjoyment later that evening.
This is a 2-credit experience, so enjoy it all! There are character meet n greets throughout the meal (Jasmine, Snow White, Ariel and Aurora)
Definitely worth it! We enjoyed ourselves (a little too much) and it’s one of our favourite memories to share with family and friends! In fact, the wand and the sword keepsakes are actually staged on my desk at my office to remind me of the dinner we had at Cinderella’s Royal Table.
Highly recommend it!
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Theme Park Advanced Dining Reservations Options
- Be Our Guest (Breakfast & Lunch QS) and (Dinner Table Service)
- Cinderella Royal Table
- The Crystal Palace
- The Diamond Horseshoe
- Jungle Navigation Skipper Canteen
- Liberty Tree Tavern
- The Plaza
- Tony’s Town Square
Our Article about Magic Kingdom Dining Recommendations
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
- Chefs de France
- Coral Reef
- Garden Grill
- La Hacienda de San Angel
- Le Cellier
- Monsieur Paul
- Nine Dragons
- Restaurant Marrakesh
- Rose & Crown
- San Angel Inn
- Spice Road Table
- Teppan Edo
- Tokyo Dining
- Tutto Italia
- Via Napoli
Our Article about EPCOT Dining Recommendations
DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
- 50’s Prime Time Cafe
- ABC Commissary (Seasonal)
- Hollywood Brown Derby
- Hollywood & Vine
- Mama Melrose
- Oga’s Cantina (Lounge)
- Sci-Fi Dine-In
DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM
- Pizzafari Family Style (Seasonal)
- Rainforest Cafe
- Restaurantosaurus Burgers & Sundaes (Seasonal)
- Tusker House
- Yak & Yeti
Did we miss any? Please let us know over on Instagram @ StepstoMagic!